Tripoli, 7 May 2013:
Libya’s higher education system, plagued with overcrowding and poor teaching standards, has prompted the government to send thousands of promising students abroad to complete their studies.
Speaking yesterday at a press conference, the Deputy Minister of Higher Education, Bashir Eshtewi, said that the ministry’s target was to despatch 10,284 students to foreign universities.
Decisions had already been made for 5,692 students, including 2,004 faculty members already holding Masters’ Degrees, Eshtewi said, as well as 3,616 “top students” who will now complete their Masters’ qualifications abroad. The selected post-graduates are studying a range of disciplines, including science and medicine.
Libyan universities have been criticised for substandard teaching from underpaid and overworked lecturers and a total lack of student support. Overcrowded lecture-halls, especially in popular subjects such as medicine where many students have to stand during classes, is another problem. These issues mean that many dedicated students are keen to seek a better education overseas.
Eshtewi said state education institutions had been asked to nominate students and staff to pursue higher education abroad because the ministry was unable to accommodate the large numbers of candidates applying to complete their academic studies abroad.